Scottish car sales move up a gear

Diesel sales have suffered recently while petrol cars have been in demand. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Diesel sales have suffered recently while petrol cars have been in demand. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
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New car sales motored ahead last month in Scotland, bucking the downward trend seen elsewhere in the UK, industry figures have confirmed.

There was a 9.6 per cent hike in new car registrations in Scotland during January, compared with the same month last year. Almost 12,000 vehicles were bought, up from 10,900 a year earlier.

On Tuesday, it emerged that sales of new cars for the UK as a whole fell last month although demand for electric models surged.

Just over 161,000 cars were registered UK-wide in January, 1.6 per cent lower than the same month last year following a big fall in demand from business and fleet buyers.

Sandy Burgess, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, said: “With the majority of the regions of Scotland showing growth and the private/fleet and business split showing 52 per cent registered to private owners we are very happy with the start to the year.

“Whilst there is no doubt that some of the growth will be as a result of units from previous delayed deliveries coming through, we are still significantly better than the tracking performance elsewhere in the UK.”

The Ford Fiesta was the best selling model in Scotland last month, followed by the new Ford Focus and Vauxhall’s ever-popular Corsa in second and third spots, respectively.

Commenting on the UK-wide result, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which complies the data, said, “It’s encouraging to see car registrations in January broadly on par with a year ago as the latest high tech models and deals attracted buyers into showrooms.

“This, however, is still the fifth consecutive month of overall decline in the market. To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles.”